This is a timeless question that maybe every human has asked, at some point in their life. And I suspect that Job, in the Bible, asked this question or some version of it, during the massively difficult season in his life. So do we obey God because there will be good outcomes? Do we obey God to avoid negative experiences? Do we obey God because life will go more smoothly? Do we obey God because it makes us feel good?
Why obey God?
During my life, I have obeyed God for the reasons I just listed and more. Sometimes, my obedience has facilitated good outcomes. And sometimes, I’ve obeyed God and stuff hasn’t turned out like I wanted. So I’m coming to the conclusion that I choose to obey God because I love God and more importantly, I’m loved by God. When I keep genuine love as a core motivation, my soul stays more tender and healthy 🙂
I’m noticing today that my intimacy with God hasn’t been as deep in the last few weeks & of course I want this to change. So I’m thinking back about what’s been going on in my life that could be contributing to this malaise. I certainly acknowledge that there’s the normal ebb & flow that happens in any relationship. In my walk with God, however, I want to pay attention really well so I don’t settle for shallow when I can have deep, intimate & flourishing. The recent things in my life that I’m observing include some of the ongoing challenges with the concussion recovery – sleep challenges, energy & focus struggles. I’ve also noticed that there have been some insecurity flare ups that have definitely sidetracked me some. There’s also the challenges of schedule changes with my kids being out of school.
None of these things can break my relationship with God, but they can certainly distract my focus & reliance so that I don’t live in the deeps with God. So I’m leaning into God & asking for more Heavenly Help. I’m also endeavoring to listen & pay attention better. I’m also keen to be less independent & more reliant on the Holy Spirit. Anyone want to join me?
I’m a huge fan of Genuine Love but not as much with the romance stuff. While I certainly like my share of chick flicks, candlelight dinners, snuggling & nice cards, the idea that romance is the same as love leaves my soul cold & withered.
Romance is nice, sometimes frothy & often temperamental. In contrast, Genuine Love is the sturdy & robust soil in which intimacy flourishes, deepens & makes for opulent & desirable fruit. Consider what Paul says about love in 1Cor 13:4-7
Let’s be conscience of the difference between romance & Genuine Love, opting for substance, sacrifice & continuous sustenance for our souls. Keep in mind that 1 John 4:8 says that God is love 🙂
I like to read lots of different things & it always seems like I have at least 1-3 books going at any given time. Along with enjoying reading, I’m probably the slowest reader born into the human race, maybe. There’s something very gratifying from turning pages, completing chapters & finishing books – good lessons to learn, observations to make, thoughts to consider.
All of which brings me to wrapping up this year to start a new year. There are some things from 2014 that need to stay in 2014. Here are some things to consider:
hurts can only remain in the past through forgiveness – turn the page
bitterness isn’t worth carrying into a new year – start a new chapter
failures belong in the past & lessons belong in the present – finish the book
God’s presence is in every moment when you think of God and when you don’t think of God
God is always helping us, whether we realize it or not
I like to be around my kids in all kinds of ways. I like to cuddle in bed with them when they’re waking up. I like to cook w them in the kitchen. I like to watch them play sports & perform. I like sitting & reading or watching basketball w them. I just like being around my kids & think that this is even more true in how God likes to be around us.
Maybe a reason that God is omni-present is because He likes to be around us so much 🙂
So here’s an interesting challenge: to flip the truth that God is always w us, let’s endeavor to be w God throughout each day – not just on Sundays or at church, but in the entirety of each day & in every place that we go. Just to be close to God.
I had a really nice time this morning waking up my son – he was very snuggly & wanted to share a secret. When I told him that I was listening, he said, “you first – you share a secret first & then I’ll tell you my secret.” So I paused for a minute to think about what level of secret to share (secret ingredient in my pecan pie or a secret pain in my heart). I decided to go with the deep option & shared something with him that is super close to my heart. He assured me that my secret is safe with him. After this, he also shared a deep secret with me & we had a very nice deep conversation.
This interaction has caused me to think about my relationship w God – I think He wants to more thoroughly love us by coming into the secrets we keep in our lives. Indeed, when my son shared his secret with me, I felt lots closer to him. With this experience, I’m even more convinced that God wants to be closer to us & one way that we cooperate with His desires is to be more vulnerable & transparent with Him. We must know that He never rejects us – even in our worst state & when we are wholly deplorable to ourselves. You are highly treasured & deeply valuable to your Creator
There are lots of reasons to keep one’s distance in relationships. There are also lots of reasons to allow one’s self to get close in relationships. I’d really like your input on some reasons in both categories – so can you please leave a comment?
Also, I’m excited because Sunday I get to share about this topic & I feel that God’s given me some pretty amazing things to consider & apply – don’t miss Sunday for any reason. You also need to come because Mark Thomas is leading worship & it will be really powerful. It will really be worth your time!
Ok, sunday i had the privilege of speaking about letting Jesus get close. Just to be totally honest – i had way too much fun getting to share on this topic. Seriously, this was a blast for me!!!
Here’s my gist: i think that we keep Jesus at a distance for lots of reasons, but some common ones include:
busy-ness (i’m too busy, like Martha in Luke 10, i think),
hurt / emotions (i’m disappointed or hurt by Jesus so i’m going to keep my distance, like Mary in John 11)
unworthy (i’ve got WAY too much garbage in my life for Jesus to get too close, like the centurion in Luke 11).
Its unfortunate that we use these reasons to keep Jesus at arms length. I’ve found that if I ask Him to help me w my busy-ness, i feel closer to Him & He often does help me! I also find that Jesus is deeply moved by my pain & wants to be involved in helping me resolve it. Finally, the reality is that we all have huge quantities of garbage – but Jesus came to make us worthy. Keeping Jesus at a distance from our personal lives isn’t constructive. the end